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  • Thumbnail for Crane scroll, part 2
    Crane scroll, part 2 by Sotatsu, Tawaraya , Koetsu, Hon'ami

    See Crane scroll, part 1 (soc000277)

  • Thumbnail for Crane scroll, part 4
    Crane scroll, part 4 by Sotatsu, Tawaraya , Koetsu, Hon'ami

    See Crane scroll, part 1 (soc000277)

  • Thumbnail for Yasaka Shrine Celebration:  Buddha by night
    Yasaka Shrine Celebration: Buddha by night

    The buddha at Yasaka Shrine still shines bright, even at night.

  • Thumbnail for Writing Table and Writing Utensil Box
    Writing Table and Writing Utensil Box

    Bundai (writing table) and suzuribako (writing utensil box) decorated with a combination of bamboo, paulownia, and the phoenix. The background is done using a technique known as nashiji, similar in appearance to the skin of the nashi, or Japanese pear, in which metal flakes are suspended in lacquer.

  • Thumbnail for Furisode

    The furisode (swinging sleeves) is a type of kosode distinguished by sleeves that hang free of the main body of the garment, below the arm. Although in the early part of the Edo period the sleeves of the furisode were not especially long, they gradually increased in length so that by the latter half of the period, sleeves as long as ninety cm were made. The furisode was worn on special occasions by children and young women. This refined example could have been worn by a woman of the samurai class. - Kawakami Shigeki

  • Thumbnail for Ashikaga Yoshimasa
    Ashikaga Yoshimasa

    This portrait done with ink and color and gold leaf on silk is believed to be of the eighth Ashikaga shogun, Yoshimasa.

  • Thumbnail for Japanese Women Practicing  Firing Rifles
    Japanese Women Practicing Firing Rifles

    These women are learning how to fire rifles in an effort to help the Japanese fight during WWII.

  • Thumbnail for Buddhist Monks
    Buddhist Monks

    Buddhist monks with novice at the turn of the century.

  • Thumbnail for Minamoto Yoritomo
    Minamoto Yoritomo

    One of the earliest extant examples of formal secular portraiture. The sitter is traditionally identified as Minamoto Yoritomo (1147-1199), the first shogun of Japan. After the death of the retired emperor Go-Shirakawa in 1192, Yoritomo received from the court the coveted title of Seiitaishogun (Great General Who Quells the Barbarians).

  • Thumbnail for Emperor Go-Mizunoo
    Emperor Go-Mizunoo by Gen'yo Shonin [1634-1727]

    Ink and color painted I\image of the Tokugawa-era emperor Go-Mizunoo. The two poems were copied from inscriptions on other portraits of the emperor. The translation by Watanabe Akiyoshi is as follows: "Painful, this/withered tree fence hidden/ in the deep mountain;/ would that at least my heart's/ flowers were fragrantly abloom./ My life being thus,/ in this world that I will never revisit/ the thought of leaving a trace/ of my calligraphy for a moment-/ even that is sad." The artist Gen'yo, a Zen Buddhist nun, was Go-Mizunoo's granddaughter.

  • Thumbnail for Nirvana of the Buddha
    Nirvana of the Buddha

    Sakyamuni entered into final Nirvana just outside the city of Kusinagara lying on his left side, as if asleep, under a pair of Sala trees. The Mahaparinirvana sutra relates the events before and after the historical Buddha's death. In attendance were his disciples, as well as the Eight Classes of Divine Protector of the Buddhist Faith and numerous Bodhisattvas, who sat quietly at the Buddha's side. The Buddha's followers below are the only one's outwardly grieving.

  • Thumbnail for Oyoroi  Samurai Armor
    Oyoroi Samurai Armor

    Oyoroi (literally "great armor") was the loose-fitting defensive armor of mounted archers that was developed late in the Heian period. It is made chiefly of leather and iron bound together to form horizontal tiers.

  • Thumbnail for Four Accomplishments, Right Screen
    Four Accomplishments, Right Screen by Yusho, Kaiho (1533-1615)

    For description of this work, see left screen, soc0006111.

  • Thumbnail for China Shop
    China Shop

    This picture was taken by Prof. Edward S. Morse of Harvard, who came to Japan in 1877 at the invitation of Tokyo Imperial University to teach zoology.

  • Thumbnail for Asakusa Pagoda
    Asakusa Pagoda

    A pagoda rises up majestically from the shops in Asakusa.

  • Thumbnail for Shrine to Twenty-Six Martyrs
    Shrine to Twenty-Six Martyrs

    A monument in Nagasaki for 26 martyrs. They were all professed Christians of various ages, both Japanese and non-Japanese. They were made to walk from Kyoto to Nagasaki, where they were executed.

  • Thumbnail for Nagasaki Skyline
    Nagasaki Skyline

    Nagasaki, sometimes described as the Japanese San Francisco, has rolling hills that help protect its inhabitants from storms.

  • Thumbnail for Ema
    Ema by Motonobu, Kano

    This painting by Kano Motonobu (1476-1559) shows a spirited steed, restrained by two lines leading from its bridle to stakes in the foreground.

  • Thumbnail for Calligraphy Brushes
    Calligraphy Brushes

    Calligraphy brushes packaged for sale.

  • Thumbnail for Kosode

    The kosode was the principal Japanese outer robe from the sixteenth century on, having previously served as outer garment for the lower classes and as undergarment for the upper classes. From the kosode evolved the modern kimono. Kosode literally means small sleeves," a reference not to the length or width of the sleeves themselves but to the size of the wrist openings. This kosode is a representative example of the Kanbun style of kosode decoration that was particularly popular during the Kanbun era (1661-1673) of the Edo period. On the back of this kosode, large overlapping maple leaves form the arc across teh shoulders to the right hem, with the red figured satin (rinzu) background exposed on the left." - Kawakami Shigeki

  • Thumbnail for Empty Warehouses
    Empty Warehouses

    Storage space near Edo Bridge in Tokyo abounded once Japan began to actively trade. With demand larger than supply,the goods went directly to the port cities,leaving warehouses in Tokyo empty.

  • Thumbnail for Anime Magazines
    Anime Magazines

    Magazines specializing in manga and anime.

  • Thumbnail for Fort Goryokaku
    Fort Goryokaku

    Aerial photo of Hakodate on the northern island of Hokkaido, where loyal supporters of the Tokugawa clan staged a final, but unsuccessful stand against the Meiji government.

  • Thumbnail for Noshi

    Noshi are given at very special occasions, like weddings.

  • Thumbnail for Emancipated Woman
    Emancipated Woman

    This photo of a Japanese woman shows how the trendy went for Victorian feathers and flowers, bustles, and bows.